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Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

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lfJ2                                    FLORA  INDICA.
-temperate zone "become common, and the flora approximates
in character to that of Europe, though not to the same extent
as that of the western Himalaya does. Shrubby LeguminQ$&,
such as Indiaoferti and Desmodium^ Ranunculacea (Tfi'alictrum,
Anemone, Delphinium, Aconitwn, etc.), Umbellifera, Caryophyl-
lea, Labiata, and Grammes, Increase in numbers as we ad-
vance into the interior. The air becomes drier, and from the
increased action of the sun the temperature does not dimi-
•uish in proportion to the elevation, the summers being wanner,
though the winters are colder. The forests at the same time
become more open, and are spread less uniformly over the
surface, the drier slopes being bare of trees, and covered with
a luxuriant herbaceous vegetation. It is only in the upper
part of the valley of the Tieta, however, above the junction
of the Lachcn with the Lachung, that this change Jbccomcs
marked j and from the rapidly increasing elevation, not only
of the surrounding mountains, but of the floors of the val-
leys, it proceeds with great rapidity, and the temperate soon
gives place to an alpine flora.
The subdpine zone'in Sikkim* scarcely begins below 13,000
feet, at which elevation a dense rhododendron scrub occupies
the slopes of the mountains, filling up the valleys so as "to
render them inrfpeneteablc. Here the summer is short, the
.ground not being free of snow till the middle of June. It
is, however, comparatively dry, aud the Alpine flora very much
resembles that of the western Himalaya and (in generic types
at least) the alps of Europe and western Asia; while as we
advance towards the Tibctttu region we have" a great increase
of dryncss, so that a Siberian flora is rapidly developed, which
at last entirely .supersedes that of the subalpiuo ssoixc, 'and
ascends above 18,000 feet.
A small herbarium of Dorjiliug plants .was, wd believe,
formed by collectors scut by Griffith while Ju charge of the
Calcutta Botanic CJafrdcn, but our knowledge of the vegeta-
tion of Sxkkim is entirely derived from our own collections,
wiiick we believe to be very complete. These consist of about